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Hosting a two-day industry conference comes with its own set of challenges. Months have gone by creating sessions, selling sponsorships, and talking to so many people that by the time the event takes place all I can think of is hitting the finish line and avoid major problems.
But then the event happens, and there are times when I’m able to block out the noise for 30-40 minutes and just be present in the conversation. This is what I appreciate the most. Being able to sit down in front of a successful industry leader in business and choose his brain over the past, present and future of our industry is rewarding both personally and professionally. Not only does this provide me with an education, but it also helps everyone involved. This is my motivation for organizing this conference.
When we return to New York on March 2-3, 2022, I am delighted to share that I will have the chance to do this again with someone I have professionally respected and admired for a long time. It is an honor to announce that the CEO of Meadowlark Media Jean Skipper will join us for a special onstage conversation at the BSM 2022 Summit.
If you have worked in this industry or aspire to, then you are probably familiar with what John has accomplished. He has seen the company from many different perspectives and remains very involved in shaping its future. But before we discuss his current involvement, let’s take a look back at the past.
During his tenure with ESPN, John spent five years as president of the company where he entered into a series of long-term cross-platform deals with key rights holders such as the NBA, NFL, MLB , Major College Conferences, US Open Tennis, FIFA, Masters Tournament and British Open, College Football Playoff and Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls. He has also overseen the evolution of several brands including The Undefeated, Grantland, five thirty-eight and espnW among others.
Prior to becoming president of the company, John served as Executive Vice President of Content, which he obtained after helping to create and present one of the most successful magazine launches of the ’90s with ESPN. The Magazine. His understanding and belief in digital helped ESPN move ESPN. com in 2000, adding a paid section, ESPN Insider, and offering a revamped site approach to generate more publicity. His foresight also spurred the launch of ESPN3, a television network producing more than 4,000 live events on the web and via mobile devices. If that wasn’t enough, John also supported the creation of the Watch ESPN app, played a key role in enhancing the careers of many sports media stars in the industry today, and oversaw the growth of ‘ESPN Films, ESPN Radio, and many of ESPN’s key TV shows.
After leaving the world leader, John signed on as executive chairman of DAZN. In January 2021, Skipper’s plate became even more full when he reunited with Dan Le Batard to create Meadowlark Media. Since the union of its forces, the group has raised millions of dollars in fundraising, attracted a number of key talent to be part of the brand and established a strong presence in podcasting and on YouTube. In April, Meadowlark has reached agreement with DraftKings for fifty million dollars over three years. Not too bad for year # 1.
What I liked about John was that he was never afraid to roll the dice and take risks. Some of his moves worked, some didn’t. The victories have been recognized throughout the industry, but so have the losses. He had to run a business through high-level talent controversies, cord-cutting challenges, understanding the world of video, audio, print, digital, advertising, subscriptions , talents and rights agreements both national and international, while keeping a finger on the pulse of the current state of the media industry while looking to the future and knowing in which areas the company must invest significantly.
John went through it all as a media manager, and he still does so while building the Meadowlark brand. A recent story in Bloomberg captured some of his views on the growth of the Le Batard Empire and navigating various parts of the industry. I highly recommend taking the time to read it. You can do this by clicking here.
We have five and a half months until we’re inside the Anne Bernstein Theater in New York City, so who knows where the industry is going to evolve during that time. One thing is for sure, John Skipper will be ready for whatever comes his way. I look forward to spending time with him in New York City treating industry professionals with his ideas, opinions and leadership lessons. I have no doubts that those in attendance will gain in value by listening to his views on the industry.
I invite you to join us in person or virtually for the BSM 2022 Summit. Tickets for the event can be purchased by clicking on here. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, send an email to [email protected]